Knee Sleeves For CrossFit : 2014 Ultimate Guide

Knee Sleeves 2014 Ultimate Guide

Knee Sleeves 2014 Ultimate Guide


Knee sleeves have become fairly common in CrossFit, rather than just being part of the uniform there are real benefits. Knee sleeves provide compression and warmth which help to reduce the risk of injury, improve blood flow, ease mild soreness and are touted to increase performance (although this is hard to prove).

There are three main types :

  1. Neoprene sleeves -  warmth, injury prevention, and mild compression (most common for CrossFit)
  2. Cloth sleeves -  some compression and warmth
  3. Knee wraps -  extreme compression (mainly used for really heavy lifting)

Now, if you have a knee pain or an ongoing issue, you need to get to the root cause of the problem. Knee braces might be an option which have strapping to support the knee in a certain direction of movement, however, these are different from knee sleeves and I suggest you get some professional advice.

The most common type knee sleeves in CrossFit are the Neoprene type – they are durable, tapered to fit your knee’s, easy to get on/off and allow a wide range of movement. Most people usually use them for any activity involving lifting, lunging, squatting or jumping.

One  downside to Neoprene sleeves is that they can start to smell and whilst most manufacturers allow washing at low temperature, eventually they will loose elasticity and compression, so its wise to keep washing to a minimum. Some non washing options include:

  • Popping them in a zip lock bag and putting them in the freezer over night
  • Get them in the direct sun light for day e.g. greenhouse or car windscreen
  • Spraying with an anti bacterial spray e.g. Norwex Sportzyme

Ok let’s look at some of the common knee sleeve options.

Option 1: Rehband Knee Sleeves

Rehband Knee Sleeves

Rehband Knee Sleeves (7751)

Rehband’s are by far the most popular option, they have been the default choice for CrossFitter’s for a number of years. Rehband’s are well made, knee shaped which means that they are comfortable and don’t down ride down the knee. The main downside is the cost (note they are sold in singles so you need to double the price you see on most sites).

Option 2: Rock Tape Knee Caps

Rocktape Knee Caps

Rocktape Knee Caps

Rock Tape Knee Caps are a good alternative to Rehbands, however, they are relatively new the market and are looking to challenge Rehband as the default option. They are well made and are a little taller than most sleeves which offer a little more support.

  • Model/Manufacturer :  Knee Caps from Rock Tape
  • Cost : approx $60 (Sold as a pair)
  • Available in 5mm or 7mm neoprene thicknesses

Option 3: Tommy Konos Knee Bands

Tommy Konnos Knee Sleeves

Tommy Kono’s Knee Bands

Tommy Kono’s knee bands have been around a while (since the 1960′s). They are significantly cheaper than Rehbands or Rock Tape Knee Caps and they offer great support/compression. The main caution is that these sleeves are thick and are well known for being really hard to get on and off.

  • Model/Manufacturer : Tommy Konos
  • Cost : approx $40-45 (Sold as a pair)
  • Available on black and 1/4 inch thick for high compression.

Option 4: Titan Knee Sleeves

Titan Knee Sleeves

Titan Knee Sleeves

Titans are a decent sleeve, just not as popular as Rehband’s or Knee Cpas.

  • Model/Manufacturer :  Titan Knee Sleeves
  • Cost : approx $60 (Sold as a pair)
  • Available in  7mm neoprene thicknesses

In Summary

Rehband’s are still be my first choice, mainly because they have been proven by many CrossFitters. Knee Caps are a good choice but still relatively new, time will tell how durable they over an extended period. I can’t really see a good argument reason to go for Titans as they are the same price as knee caps and less proven in the field . TK’s are a option if you are looking for something cheaper and lifting is a focus of your routine.

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